Greenlight turns your smartphone into a dash cam

In this digital age, having a dash cam almost feels like a necessity. In the event of an accident, you'll at least have the comfort of knowing that some portion of it was caught on camera. This makes it a bit easier when it's being determined who is at fault for the collision. But when all of us have a perfectly good camera in our pocket at all times, why should we need to buy an extra one, just to sit in our cars?

A new startup is looking at answering that question. Their new kit is named Greenlight, and it aims to turn your Android or iOS smartphone into a dash cam, whenever you're driving. The kit consists of a stand with a dongle, and an app. These work in conjunction to quickly and easily transform your phone into a lean, mean, crash-recording machine.

The creator has stated that docking your phone and turning on the app should be something that you don't even need to think about doing when you get in your car. And it appears to be simple enough. You just set your phone in the dock (which will have the appropriate connector already attached, depending on your phone) and then squeeze the sides together, to hold your phone snugly. You don't even need to worry about opening the app on your phone. When it detects that you've docked your phone, you'll get a notification. Just tap that, and it'll open the app for you.

While all of their photos seem to show the phone sitting in portrait mode, I've checked with the creator, and there is no issue with using it in landscape mode. In fact, if you open the app while it is docked in portrait mode, and shift it to landscape, it will automatically switch the recording mode to landscape, so you don't have to worry about all of your footage getting captured sideways.

The companion app will record your drive on a record/erase loop. If something happens during your drive, you can just tap the button on the dongle, and it will save all of the footage in the buffer. You can manually adjust how much footage the app saves. It ranges from 30 seconds to 3 minutes.

The Greenlight kit is currently available for pre-order, for a price of $49. You can find other dash cams in the same price range, but I like the idea of just using my phone's camera for it. It's going to be a better quality camera, and I don't have to mess with another specialized device that only serves a single function.